Do you have the resources to spend up to a third of your life in retirement? Retirement can be great and can be the time when you enjoy the fruit of your labour. But if you are not prepared, you can be financially broke and you can be depressed or even in despair. Be prepared for your retirement years.

Is retirement biblical? Today we believe that at some point in our lives we can stop working and enjoy our lives. But what does the scriptures have to say about retirement? To me, it could mean I slow down or stop working and increase my level of volunteer work in the church. But in order to do that, I have to plan ahead during my pre-retirement stage to save more so that during retirement, I have the freedom to choose and serve.

Unfortunately with our cost of living, most of us may need to spend much of our time just making a living. Without an adequate saving plan, we may find ourselves lowering our standard of living or working longer than we had expected.

So if you do not want to work during retirement, you will need to spend a great deal of effort and planning before retirement. You have to plan, save, and invest. Do not retire too early, avoid procrastination and start planning.

Start planning and saving for your retirement. Your CPF fund may not be sufficient to meet your retirement needs. Eliminate debt and usually that starts off with your credit card first. Create an emergency fund of six months of your living expenses. Contribute to your CPF fund and create retirement assets so as to enjoy passive funds during your retirement. Treat your monthly investment and savings plan as your fixed expenses, you will be more likely to save more.

Planning for retirement and having a commitment to save go hand in hand. You have to be intentional as your retirement nest egg will not happen overnight. Take advantage of the miracle of compound interest. The longer you wait to save, the less time your money has to work for you. There are ways to increase your savings and decrease your spending. Is there any way you can increase your income and reduce your expense? Perhaps you have to eat out less and spend less on luxury goods. Reduce credit and debt. Make it your first priority to get rid of your credit cards debt. You may have to look at your investment strategy and invest in growth mutual funds.

Can you rely on your CPF fund? Is it enough? Do you have other saving plan and assets to cushion you? The general rule of thumb is that you need between 70 to 80 percent of your present income when you retire.

Insurance Issues

Health Insurance

Most retirees live on fixed income and neglect looking into their health insurance. A serious health problem without insurance could eliminate all retirement saving. Be sure you have good Medi-Shield plans and if need to, top up with an integrated Shield plan. Looking forward to your golden years in retirement? For many, the retirement lifestyle, the anticipated and hoped for will not be a reality. Is there any hope? Yes, but it requires a process of planning, commitment and developing strategies for providing for a comfortable retirement.

Only you know what you want your retirement years to be like and only you can plan and work towards it and achieve your goals.

Questions:

  1. Why would eliminating credit cards and instalments be an important step rather than putting money in savings?
  2. Are you financially prepared for your retirement? If not, what action do you need to take in order to reverse the situation?
  3. Do you intend to set aside more of your time in serving the Lord during your retirement?
Week 46 – Retirement Planning (Part 2)